Social networks, or social networks, are virtual spaces in which people with common interests can exchange information on specific topics and communicate with each other. In addition to human resources, these networks also require suitable technologies that form a platform. In this context, we speak of social media (social media) and social business software.

Against the background of the knowledge management of an organization one can differentiate social network according to whether it is intended for the external or internal purpose. In both cases, social networking is an important tool for knowledge management.

The most well-known form of the social network forms that, which is particularly suitable for external purposes. In the following, platform
providers for different target groups are listed: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Xing, Youtube, Flickr etc.
For the internal purpose, on which this  micro-article  concentrates, the following exemplary solutions or modules are considered as needed:
Intranet , Blogs, wikis, virtual conference rooms, discussion forums, chat rooms, SharePoint, team sites, file storage, areas to collaborate on a file, etc.

What are the goals of company-internal social networking?

Certainly, one of the main features of the “online community” is
to be able to liberate one’s own knowledge community from communicational barriers concerning different time zones and regional distances. Especially in companies whose employees work in different office buildings, cities, regions and countries, such solutions are appropriate.

There are two key aspects here:
networking people  – some examples

  • Departments, teams or even temporary / global project groups can get together in such an uncomplicated way
  • In-house specialist networks can be formed (comparable to the yellow pages)
  • Employees who are trained on a topic can form a so-called “Lea
    rning Community” in which they can learn, research and work together.
  • Chat rooms, virtual conference rooms, discussion forums etc.

Allow conversations  – some examples

  • The top management lives up to an open communication culture, is present and can be addressed
  • Policies: Communication via chat, forums etc. must be allowed and desired.
    All prohibitions restricting communication between employees must be lifted.
  • Community Advocats: In order for people to come together and communicate, there must be people at the management level who support this idea and drive and defend that kind of corporate culture.

What should be considered?

Examples from different companies such. For example, Ernst & Young show that enterprise solutions often offer many opportunities, and that those responsible are often tempted to use all of these elements simultaneously and ” want too much. ”

Among other things, it is therefore important to plan the introduction of social network very precisely, to determine the appropriate forms of communication for the company and also to consider the maintenance of such tools so that the project can be successfully continued in the long term.
Compared to building a community, the previous  strategic planning is associated  with significantly greater effort when it comes to the realization of social networking.

Consequently, the time factor should not be underestimated before the planning phase.

Not like that…

In one company, I experienced it when social network ieS and knowledge management iwS were introduced.
Many ideas that were enforceable offline have been implemented quite well. However, a big problem was the introduction of lively forums. There were only one or two HR topics in the forum where employees could also write anonymously.
I wondered what the meaning of such a tool should be when hardly anyone actively exchanges and stays in secrecy.
Today, I realize that the management, the business unit leaders or the department heads, were the ones who needed to take the first step. For example, they could have started discussions on ongoing projects, technologies, etc. and invited employees to exchange views.
After all, management always has an exemplary function.